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Improv:21 - Improvising with Mr. Mitchell: An Informance with Roscoe Mitchell

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Improv:21 - Improvising with Mr. Mitchell: An Informance with Roscoe Mitchell


Published February 20, 2008


Recorded on February 20, 2008, at the Marsh, in San Francisco, Derk Richardson introduces saxophonist, composer, and improviser extraordinaire, Roscoe Mitchell. The very embodiment of the deliberate and intelligent artist, Mitchell proceeds to hold court before an attentive and appreciative audience, presenting some of his musical collaborations, and sharing his ideas about improvising while also answering a variety of interesting questions. One of the first members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Mitchell has always been at the forefront of the experimental free-jazz movement, and is a firm believer that music is 50% sound and 50% silence. Mr. Mitchell describes his attempts to teach students the art of improvisation and how to address many of the challenges that even he still faces when improvising. To aid his students in addressing these problems Mitchell has developed a number of techniques, including scored or guided improvisations in which certain parameters such as duration are predetermined, and giving students materials to work with, such as a set of cards with notation, which they are then instructed to arrange in their own order and tempo. Other tips include advice on how to extend one’s concentration and encouragement for people to look within and discover their own unique voices. Mitchell also stresses the importance that an ensemble engaging in improvisation must learn to listen to each other and to take into account the variety of dynamics, and to seek to increase available choices. In addition, improvisers should know something about composition and orchestration in order to recognize the options and limitations involved. When asked about how he feels about his music having influenced younger musicians he senses that in many ways the ideas that were prevalent in the 1960s were now coming full circle and that it is important for musicians to be united and in control of their destinies in order to have their music flourish. In this way it is his hope that music will remain linked with real life and that we can leave the era of the composer and enter one of the super-musician. An era that Mr. Roscoe is clearly comfortable and qualified inhabiting.

This is RAW UNEDITED FOOTAGE produced by Rova:Arts.


Run time 96 min
Producer ROVA:Arts
Audio/Visual sound, color
Language English
Contact Information For more detailed program information and to browse other material in the Other Minds Archive visit: <a href="http://radiom.org">radiOM.org</a>

Credits

Derk Richardson, moderator

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Reviews

Reviewer: DremptBrouleeZeeBub - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 15, 2013
Subject: great talk !
what an amazing, knowledgeable and gentle soul, who brings a rare compassionate view on playing music, and his history composing and playing throughout many years. I loved his point about the importance of concentration in learning to play well with others. highly recommend this guy's erudite discussion. Thank you.
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